Why look forward to Web3?
“What is Web3?” Instead of defining Web3 directly, it is better to imagine the possibilities in the world of Web3.
While writing this article, I recall that about a year ago, which was last March, Beeple’s digital artwork was sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million. At that time, many people exclaimed: “Why is a JPEG so valuable?”
A traditional media person also came over and asked me: “What makes a JPEG so valuable? Can’t I just download the picture? Do I really need an NFT for anti-counterfeiting purposes?”
At that time, I also thought it was bizarre. Apart from anti-counterfeiting and traceability, what else could an NFT do? I was at a loss for words for a while.
In a Metaverse project’s community meeting, it was until yesterday when the project’s founder recalled that he had the same problem a year ago. Then, I realized that I already had the answer in mind.
In the world of Web3, NFT will no longer be your JPEG/avatar but our identity. Just imagine, when we go from one decentralized social network to another decentralized social network, when we withdraw money from a decentralized bank and buy a ticket for a virtual concert, what can represent our identity in the process?
Must be the virtual “characters”, such as CryptoPunks, indifferent Duck, and Bored Ape Yacht Club. And the core of these characters is defined by your crypto wallet address (0x…).
So when you use your wallet to link all Web3 applications, your NFT is your identity, and no one can impersonate or replace you, nor can you impersonate or replace anyone.
This is one of the scenarios in the Web3 world. Although Twitter has launched a function where you can pay to switch NFT avatars, some decentralized social media have also launched similar functions, and these are just a few examples. However, now is still the world of Web2, and the era of Web3 is far from reality.
Well, I think the “Why is a JPEG so valuable? Can’t I just download the picture?” kind of thinking is naive but not ridiculous because we are squatting in the world of Web2 and squinting at the things of Web3, just like people in three-dimensional space trying to see the multi-dimensional world.
Let’s reflect on the problems of Web2 again. Take games as an example. I am a big fan of League of Legends. Though I was not very skillful, I liked to collect rare hero skins. Until I understood what Web3 was, I was almost reluctant to buy these skins and even gave up the addiction of buying game props.
I spent money to buy props, but these props were not mine. I had no right to gift or trade and could only use them in the game. When the game ceases operation, these virtual props will no longer exist.
And the Web3 I look forward to will look like this: Walking in the multiverse world, I have autonomy over my identity, and others cannot impersonate and replace this; I have the right to fully handle my assets, and I am the master of my game props.
Hence, when you precisely understand the above two cases, it will not be difficult to see what Web3 will look like. Before the arrival of Web3, the blockchain industry has already had vital infrastructures such as oracles, smart contracts, and crypto assets. However, there are still the most fundamental problems to be solved: the absence of high-speed public blockchain supporting Web3, the questions of how to balance security, decentralization, and achieve fast and low gas transactions in the trilemma, and whether the Web3 is a multi-chain or cross-chain era.
Yet precisely because of this, there are more opportunities — I am talking about money-making opportunities, of course. When looking back on 2019–2021, regardless of traditional institutions or cryptocurrency exchanges, in terms of the layout of the sectors, showing an acceleration of multiple projects and large funds.
According to relevant statistics, in the whole year of 2021, there were 1,351 disclosed investment and financing events in the crypto space, with total financing of 30.51 billion USD, covering various sub-sectors such as CeFi, DeFi, Metaverse, NFT, and scalability solutions. For example, Coinbase Ventures invested the most in infrastructure, while a16z invested the most in Web3 projects, including privacy, middleware, and scalability solutions.
As a hub of cryptocurrency projects, cryptocurrency exchanges do not have any sector restrictions.
Take MEXC as an example. More than 850 assets were listed in the second half of 2021 alone. Regarding the Web3 infrastructure, dozens of projects including Polkadot, Cosmos, Kusama, Moonbeam, Acala, Celer, Keep3r were launched; For DeFi, Terra, Uniswap, Curve, PancakeSwap, Anyswap, THORChain, and others were listed; For NFT (Metaverse, GameFi) Axieinfinity, Gala, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and others were launched; lastly, on the sectors of the public blockchain and scalability solutions, Solana, Matic, Avalanche, Fantom, Harmony, and others were listed; …
The MEXC sectors layout illustrated in relevant statistics: it launched six out of the top ten highest-yielding assets in 2021, and the theoretical average maximum ROI exceeded 6600%. Among them, SHIB had the highest ROI of 106,363,536%, followed by GALA, with an ROI of 47,854%. In addition, LUNA, FTM, and SOL all recorded ROI of above 16,000% as well.
Institutions accumulated a lot of wealth through investment, cryptocurrency exchanges attracted absolute traffic through their layouts, and smart traders gained dozens or even hundreds of times of profits through trading. This was the status of the crypto world in 2020–2021.
Someone told a real story on Twitter — in a gathering of the old money, a wealthy man asked a very typical question, which also represented the last confusion of many of the old money. “Today, no matter how many times Crypto (cryptocurrency) has risen, but isn’t it possible to achieve it just with the Internet? So why do you need crypto when you can use the Internet?”
This question is actually the same as the “Why is a JPEG so valuable? Can’t I just download the picture?” kind of question. Precisely because most people in the world will ask the same question, we will have more opportunities to make money before the arrival of Web3. I can say this without holding back, which is valid for investment institutions and startups as well. This is another reason why I’m looking forward to Web3.